Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A Genovese capo who spent nearly 11 years on the lam to avoid arrest for a decades-old mob rubout was convicted of racketeering today, but cleared of the murder.

Michael "Mikey Cigars" Coppola is facing up to 20 years in prison after jurors in Brooklyn federal court found him guilty of extorting a waterfront union for more than 30 years and possessing false identification while he was a fugitive.

The gangster could have faced a life sentence if he was convicted of killing mob associate Johnny "Coca Cola" Coppola in the parking lot of a New Jersey motel in 1977.

Coppola became a fugitive in 1996 after authorities got a tip from a mob turncoat and demanded a DNA sample for comparison to evidence from the crime scene.

After nearly 11 years of evading the feds, Coppola was caught in the Upper West Side, where he and his wife had been living in a studio apartment.

Coppola used a myriad of bogus names including: Jose Quinones, Joseph Carro, Michael Rizzoli, Joseph Rizzoli, Michael Rizzo, Joe Quinn and Hector Carro.

"We're pleased that the centerpiece of the government's case, the John Lardiere murder, was not proven," said defense attorney Henry Mazurek, who argued that Coppola ran because he didn't want to be arrested for a murder he didn't commit.

"As I said at the outset, Michael Coppola never ran because he was guilty of any murder and the jury saw that correctly," Mazurek said.



Post a Comment